Homemade Natural Cold and Flu Inhaler

homemade inhalerDoes the thought of making your own inhaler make nervous? It made me uneasy when I first learned of it during an aromatherapy course, but I quickly learned that these are powerful little tools that pack huge benefits into something no bigger than a tube of lipstick. These are not inhalers that you breathe in orally, which is what probably comes to mind when you hear the word “inhaler”, but are simply held up to your nose. They utilize the incredible power of essential oils to aid you in your recovery, and in this recipe, the blend of essential oils is specifically addressing acute cold and flu symptoms.

How to use healing essential oils to make your own natural cold and flu inhaler.

Many germs have found that a great way to infect a host is through their airways. When you breathe them in, they quickly go about spreading the illness and making your life miserable. In the case of the cold or flu, you’ll be run down, congested, coughing, achy, exhausted, and listless. The beauty of essential oils is that there benefits are airborne as well, which means that when you breathe them in, they set to work wiping out the bad guys and easing your discomfort. This inhaler contains 5 essential oils to quickly and effectively relieve you of your symptoms. The blend below is my favorite and I have found it to work the best for me, but always feel free to tweak it to your preferences.

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus does an incredible job at really opening up your sinuses and clearing out any congestion. It’s a lifesaver with anything “stuffy.”

Black Spruce: The wonderful aroma of black spruce will also open up your sinuses, and is one of the best antispasmodic essential oils out there (meaning it will really calm down a cough.) if you have a cough in which you are coughing up mucous or phlegm, do not suppress it.

Tea Tree: The antimicrobial master of essential oils (well maybe not there is no “master” oil, but it’s still pretty incredible.) When you inhale the tea tree oil you inhale the airborne particles that will help actively wipe out the germs that are making your sick.

Lavender (add at night): Use the soothing lavender if you want to use this inhaler to help you sleep, and it’s wonderful, soothing aroma will help you drift off and make it through the night.

Lime: Lime essential oil helps boost your immune system by increasing white blood cell production.

Substitutes: Pine needle or fir for black spruce, mandarin or lemon for lime. You can use these substitutes if you happen to be missing one of the other and have these on hand.

For Adults

You will need…
-1 blank inhaler
-5-7 drops of Eucalyptus
-4 drops of Black Spruce
-5 drops of Tea Tree
-2 drops of Lavender
-1 drop of Lime

For Children (Over 5 Years of Age)

You will need…
-1 drop of eucalyptus
-2 drops of black spruce
-4 drops of tea tree
-2 drops of lavender
-1 drop of lemon or lime


There are 2 ways to go about setting up your inhaler. The first is to pre-mix your oils in a small, narrow, glass bottle. You can then insert the cotton and allow it to soak up the oils. The problem with this method is that you will leave some oil behind.

how it works

The other method is to drop the oils directly onto the cotton after you place it inside the inhaler. They come out fast, so go slowly and carefully-an extra drop or two isn’t a big deal! After you cap the inhaler swirl it around to pick up any oil that may have stuck to the sides.

To use, hold the inhaler up to one nostril, plugging the other with your finger. Take 1 deep breath in and remove the inhaler before breathing out. Repeat with the other nostril. Use every 4 hours as needed for acute flue and cold symptoms. If you use your inhaler once a day it will last anywhere from 3-6 months. The shelf life is up to 1 year, but if left out in heat, uncapped, or in direct light, you may notice the potency goes downs.

homemade inhaler

To get blank inhalers: I order mine from Aromatics International.

The versatility of inhalers is truly incredible. Yes, it can look a little weird to somebody who doesn’t know what you’re using, but that’s why I tend to label mine. Over the next few weeks I’ll be doing some more inhaler blend recipes to address sleep troubles, anxiety, motion sickness, and other common ailments. I think once you use them once, you’ll be totally hooked. Enjoy!

We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:


  1. Kathy Johnson says:

    reading this has been very helpful!! I have some essential oils but am unsure how to use them to their full potential. I didn’t know about the inhaler! I plan on ordering several.

  2. Darla Allen says:

    Where do you get the blank inhaler? I know about esential oils but have never found an empty inhaler.

  3. Priscilla says:

    What if you are allergic to some of the ingredients or the smell of some give you a massive headache? Can you use just some and not all of them?!?!?!

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